“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-10
I think we can agree that we have all experienced one of the challenges listed above at some point in our lives, if not within just the past eight weeks. We can relate to Paul’s struggle that he calls his “throne in the flesh” and how it has hindered him from functioning at his best. It has hindered his life and ministry. He has asked the Lord to take it away on three different occasions, but God had a different answer for Paul.
If we are completely honest, I think we have all asked God to provide relief from the issues related to COVID-19, whether it be health related, financial, sense of sanity or just social interaction. Nevertheless, I want to point out how God responded to Paul in his weakness and help us see that God may be telling us the same thing.
God’s response to Paul was simple; “My grace is sufficient and my power is made perfect in weakness.” How encouraging and demanding is that statement? One the one hand, God is telling us that He has it all under control and that the work He is doing in, through and around us will be most powerful because it is based upon His strength and not our own. Yet, on the other hand, I am deeply convicted about my desire for resolution and realize that I need total dependence upon God. I know that I have weaknesses, but I am often impatient when it comes to letting God work so that His power will be made perfect in my weakness.
Paul comes to this conclusion: he will boast about his weakness so that Christ’s power may rest on him, and he will delight in his weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions and difficulties because when he is weak, he is made strong.
Can you come to that realization today? Can you admit that you have weaknesses, hardships and difficulties? Once you and I realize this fact, we must seek God’s grace in dealing with these situations rather than complaining or seeking a way out. We need to live and serve in the reality that God’s grace is sufficient. During this time of uncertainty, we can be certain that God’s grace is sufficient for each of us, our responsibilities and his church.
I pray that you will take these passages to heart and have confidence in a loving Father who is in complete control of this and every other situation, both now and in the future.
As you pray this morning, ask God to reveal areas of weakness in your life and confess those to Him. Acknowledge and call on God’s grace to fill and empower you to do God’s will. Pray that God will give you the strength to face your challenges with the right attitude - the attitude of confidence in the one thing that can give you true strength: God’s grace.